Title: That Sweet Southern Voice
Fandom: Doom, 2005
Random Word: Powerhouse
Characters: Sarge, Reaper/OC, Destroyer, Duke, Goat, Portman, Mac
Rating: T – M
Disclaimer: I do not own Doom; all the characters belong to whoever the hell they belong to.
"Fall in!" Sarge bellowed.
All the men of RRTS Unit Six fell in line in front of their bunks. Only one bed was left unoccupied.
"This is James Doyle," Sarge continued. "Each of you will treat our new recruit with respect. This is a first for us as well as Staff Sergeant Doyle."
"First of what, Sarge?" Portman asked, scratching at a pimple on his face.
"Well I certainly don't see any other women," a sweet, southern voice drawled. "So I guess that makes me the first."
All the men turned to really take in the new staff sergeant. She was tall, about 6'1", with long chocolate brown hair and dull blue eyes. She wore the normal dregs, but left her shirt open to reveal a hunter green tank top. Her boots were polished and everything was in the right place, despite appearing with the air of thoughtlessness. She smiled, though the men could tell it was forced, and rolled her eyes.
"This is Staff Sergeant Doyle's sixth assignment in the past four months, and we hope that this time it sticks," Sarge said. "I expect you all to introduce yourselves and make nice. Doyle you can take the empty bunk by Reaper."
"Can I really, Sarge?" she asked with fake enthusiasm.
She trudged passed him and dropped her bag on the bed.
"Anythin' else?" she asked the team leader.
"Yeah," he said. "Don't forget about your trials tomorrow morning. 0500. Don't be late."
"How's a girl supposed to forget when you won't stop preachin' about it?" she asked.
"Save your lip for Portman, Doyle. He's going to need it more."
Sarge turned and made his way back up the stairs to his office. Doyle flopped down onto her bunk and looked the men over. They, in turn, took the time to take her in. The silence only grew more awkward.
"Well?" she said. "Ain't you gonna introduce yaselves and make nice?"
"I'm Portman," the greasy man said, eyeing her over. "You can call me Dean."
"How 'bout I call you disgusting?" she asked. "Seems to fit better."
Some of the other men snorted. A black man held out his hand and said,
"They call me Destroyer."
"Did Sarge say your name is James?" another black man asked.
"Yeah. Dad wanted a boy and refused to consider that I could be a girl."
"You got something else we can call you?" Duke asked.
She laughed. "They call me Powerhouse."
An Asian man in the corner whistled. "That's a pretty powerful name for someone who looks like they'd fall over if the wind blew too hard."
"It's got nothing to do with my physical strength, though that's not in question either."
"Then what's it got to do with?" Portman asked.
"It's got to do with how well she can shoot a gun," Reaper said from the opposite side of the room.
"Thanks for the hello, John. How's life been treatin' ya?"
"Fair enough, Jamie. Sixth assignment, huh?"
"You know how I am. I got to try a few things out before they stick. It's not my fault some of the COs don't like a little bit of free spirit in the ranks."
"Free spirit? You're a damn menace," Reaper snarked.
"Seems I'll fit right in, then, won't I?" she smiled.
"Probably," the man agreed.
The other men watched the two go back and forth, amazed that this new woman could get Reaper to say so much.
"Do you two know each other?" Portman asked.
"What was the first clue, moron?" Powerhouse asked.
The greasy man flipped her off.
"I'm gonna take that as an insult not an offer. Now what's a girl gotta do to get some grub?"
Powerhouse lay on her stomach with her head tucked under her pillow. Despite sleeping in a room with seven other men, she wore only a tank top and her underwear. Her hair was pulled into a messy braid and her covers were tangled at her feet. A large hand came to rest on her back and shook her awake. She groaned and reached an arm back to thump her bother in the stomach. The hand shook her more forcefully.
"I swear to God if you don't get your hands offa me we are gonna have problems," she growled.
"You're going to have a problem anyway if you don't get up," a familiar voice said. "You've got fifteen minutes to meet Sarge at the training field."
"Yeah. Now get up."
"Goddamnit, John. I hate you so much right now," she said, rolling off the bed and landing in a crouch on the cold floor.
A shiver ghosted through her, trickling up and down her spine, as she quickly pulled on yesterday's dregs. She shoved her boots on and stood. She stretched as far as she could before dropping back into her normally lax stance. She collected her dregs jacket from the floor between her bunk and Reaper's and waved the man goodbye. No one was awake to see the kiss she smacked onto his cheek as she passed him.
Powerhouse arrived at the training grounds just before Sarge, which surprised him a bit.
"I didn't expect you to actually be here," he said.
"And what? Be shipped out of here by midday?" she snorted. "You are not that lucky Asher."
"No, I'm usually not," he sighed.
"So what are these quote unquote trials? Transfer didn't have nothing to say about trails."
"This was your trial," he grinned.
Powerhouse's mouth turned into a deep frown.
"I just wanted to see if you'd be able to take orders from your Big Cousin Ashy."
"Oh, I fuckin' hate you right now! You got me up at five in the fuckin' morning just to see if I would do it?"
She kicked at him.
"You are Goddamn lucky I didn't bring my Glock out here with me!"
"I know I am!" Sarge laughed. "Now let's go back in and see about some breakfast."
"Uh, wait a minute," she said.
"I gotta ask. Do you know about the circumstances between John and I?" she asked softly.
"You mean the whole surrogates thing? Yeah I'm aware. I also know about what's going on behind the surrogates thing."
Sarge smirked when a blush lit up Powerhouse's face.
"Just so you're aware," she said. "You got a problem with anything that might go down?"
"Just don't bring it on missions," Sarge said simply.
"I think we can do that," she smiled. "Now about that breakfast."
John Grimm woke to the familiar, though long absent, smell of a home cooked meal. He sat up and looked around and noticed that the only other person still in the room was Goat. The holyman was pulling on and tying one of his boots.
"Goat," John said, "where is everybody?"
"Sarge and Powerhouse are in the kitchen cooking breakfast. Everybody else is eating."
Reaper's eyebrows shot up. Sarge and Powerhouse were cooking?
"What time is it?" he asked Goat.
"Just after 0600. Sarge decided that we needed a day off."
Reaper nodded and stood. He pulled a clean pair of uniform pants from his locker and slid them on, then sat down to pull on his shoes. He pulled a black tee shirt over his head and made his way to the kitchen upstairs.
The kitchen was loud as Sarge and Powerhouse stood over the stove and counter and cooked away. Everyone else, besides Goat, was seated at the large table they had managed to scrounge up from somewhere months ago.
"Why are you people always so damn loud?" he asked nobody.
"Cause we're happy to be fed!" Duke said.
"Mornin' John," Powerhouse said from the stove. "You want your usual?"
"C'mon," she teased. "You can say please."
"Would you please just fix my damn breakfast, woman?" he growled.
"Growl like that again and you're gonna get a little more than just breakfast," she purred from the stove.
The entire kitchen ceased to move or breath as they stared between the two. The tension was broken when Sarge stabbed the knife he was holding into the counter top.
"What did I tell you?" he asked Powerhouse.
"Not before breakfast cause you're not awake enough to avoid us yet."
"Have I had my breakfast yet?"
"Nobody has, Ashy. That's the beauty of it," she smirked.
"What the hell is going on?" Portman asked.
"I guess we forgot to mention a few things," Powerhouse said. "To start at the beginning: Sarge is my older cousin. John and I grew up together, he helped me through some tough times, we're engaged. I had a twin sister; we were connected at birth by the hand. We weren't separated until we were six and she died during the operation. John became my surrogate hand-holder and literally held my hand 24/7 through high school and my first two years of college. Did I forget anything?"
"Nope," John said. "You've got it all covered."
"Good. Who wants bacon?"